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Posts Tagged ‘Goofy Foot Press’

This Week in AMS: More Time Requested, Victory for Nonconsentings

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported at the end of last week that Advanced Marketing Services is asking the Delaware bankruptcy court to have until August 10 to file for Chapter 11, an extension from the current April 28 deadline. Bankruptcy law gives companies a limited amount of time to propose a Chapter 11 plan to pay creditors without competition from rival plans. As has been widely reported, AMS sold Publishers Group West to Perseus and its wholesaling operations to Baker & Taylor .

Meanwhile, as more former PGW clients sign on with different distributors (including National Book Network, which was in the running to buy PGW outright) one non-consenting publisher was victorious in court at the end of March. Goofy Foot Press, a single-title publisher run by Paul Joannides, was awarded all of the post-petition sales that it requested–a payment that other PGW publishers received. PW Daily further reported that Judge Christopher Sontchi issued a stern rebuke to AMS’s attorneys, calling their treatment of Goofy Foot and other small presses, from whom he had received numerous letters, “outrageous” and threatened to withdraw the executive compensation order for bonuses. According to the hearing transcript released this week, the judge said their actions were “inconsistent with the representations that were made to the Court for the basis to approve the PGW sale to begin with,” and added that if the sale hadn’t already gone through, he would have stopped it. Harsh words, if a bit on the 20-20 hindsight front.

As for Goofy Foot, PW Daily adds that the press is close to signing on with NBN, which illustrates a point made here in the midst of the AMS fray: even losing the bid for PGW made NBN a winner because they could cherry pick among the non-consenting publishers and take on a smaller, more cost-effective load and thus remain able to break even or at least turn a profit. Perseus, of course, got to acquire the publishers it truly wanted (like Avalon and Grove/Atlantic) and integrate dozens more for its own devices. There’s much dust to settle, especially with a court hearing still slated for April 20 for releasing books still held by PGW.

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The B&T buyout of AMS is Official

Remember when AMS news dominated GalleyCat‘s pages? It wasn’t all that long ago, but once the court decisions were handed down and PGW went with Perseus, things got a little more quiet. Except, of course, they didn’t, it’s just that the media got disinterested even though a handful of publishers who elected not to go with Perseus or any other distributor for the moment are getting undue unpleasantness by way of AMS’s attorneys. One non-consenting publisher, Paul Joannides of Goofy Foot Press, has gone so far to file a motion in bankruptcy court to have its contract rejected. “They are refusing to let us have our stock, and now they are withholding our money on recent sales that just a week ago they assured us they would pay,” Joannides said in an email to us.

But as that story plays out, so does the fate of AMS, now officially in the hands of Baker & Taylor after court approval of the $76 million dollar sale. PW Daily reported yesterday that Baker & Taylor has created Baker & Taylor Marketing Services and, beginning Monday, resumed shipping new titles to the warehouse clubs. The purchase, which also includes UK and Mexico assets, involves a range of assets used by AMS to sell bestsellers and other books into the membership warehouse clubs. The San Diego Union-Tribune had more on this story last week, including the news that post-bankruptcy, AMS lost more than $1 million per week in January and an even higher sum in February. Bruce Buechler, an attorney for the creditors, said the losses could total up to $2 million a week. “It’s a sad day,” said Bud Leedom, publisher of San Diego’s California Stock Report, who noted that AMS was one of the region’s oldest companies trading on Wall Street. “When they were founded in the 1980s, San Diego wasn’t a place that was known for publicly traded companies,” Leedom said.